John Kampfner

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John has had a twenty-five-year career in international public life spanning media, global affairs, UK politics, education, business, and arts. He is an Executive Director at Chatham House, leading its UK in the World initiative.


John Kampfner began his journalistic career as a foreign correspondent with the Daily Telegraph, first in East Berlin where he reported on the fall of the Wall and unification of Germany, and then in Moscow at the time of the collapse of Soviet Communism. He went on to become Chief Political Correspondent at the FT and political commentator for the BBC's Today programme and Newsnight.

As Editor of the New Statesman, he took the magazine to thirty-year circulation highs, and was Society of Magazine Editors Current Affairs Editor of the Year. He also won the Foreign Press Association award for Journalist of the Year and Film of the Year for a two-part BBC film on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, called The Ugly War. His film War Spin received considerable publicity.

He writes weekly for the Times and appears regularly in other newspapers such as the FT, Guardian and New European. John has made several programmes for BBC Radio 4 and World Service, and frequently appears on the BBC and Sky.

John joined Chatham House as Executive Director, UK in the World project. Before that, as a Consulting Fellow, he wrote a three-part series on competitive rivalries in an era of global crisis. He was also a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.

Fluent in German and Russian, John regularly speaks at political conferences and cultural festivals around the world. In the arts world, he is Chair of the House of Illustration, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his services to the arts by Bath Spa University.

John established the Creative Industries Federation to much acclaim providing a single voice for the UK's creative sector. For eight years he was founder Chair of Turner Contemporary, one of the country’s most successful art galleries.

John’s books include the best-selling Blair’s Wars, now a standard text in schools, Freedom For Sale, which was short-listed for the Orwell Prize, The Rich, from Slaves to Superyachts, A 2000-Year History, and Why the Germans Do It Better.

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Book written by John Kampfner
Book written by John Kampfner
Book written by John Kampfner
Book written by John Kampfner


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JLA Presents

Event - 30/04/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Understanding AI Now

Priya Lakhani and Anne-Marie Imafidon

We were joined at 87 Barts Close by three brilliant speakers on a panel that delved into the complex world of Artificial Intelligence. Over the hour our panellists de-mystified AI, speaking about AI’s immense promise for enhancing our lives, alongside the apprehension it has generated regarding job security, privacy infringement, and ethical considerations.


87 Barts Close, 87 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7EB


Event - 06/02/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Looking Ahead to International Women’s Day

Samira Ahmed, Eniola Aluko, Julia Gillard, and Alex Mahon

We were joined by four fantastic speakers to look ahead at International Women’s Day. With the theme of this year’s event being #InspireInclusion, we were lucky enough to hear from four women who have each blazed a trail in their respective fields: CEO of Channel 4, Alex Mahon; the former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of Kings’ Global Institute of Women’s Leadership, Julia Gillard; one of the leading voices in football, Eniola Aluko MBE; and broadcaster and journalist, Samira Ahmed.


Bishopsgate Institute, London